Health department stops tetanus shot clinics at disaster centers

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 3:33pm

Workers helping residents drag waterlogged sheetrock, insulation and furniture from flooded homes are not at an increased risk for tetanus infections, according the Centers for Disease Control and the state Department of Health.

Metro’s Public Health Department had experienced a run on the vaccinations last week (They were offering free vaccinations at the city’s five disaster information centers.) as volunteers prepared to help during the recovery efforts.

But the demand for the shots dropped dramatically when word spread that vaccination was not necessary to help with cleanup efforts. Effective Tuesday, the health department will stop offering the free shots at disaster centers, but they will offer them at Metro health clinics.

According to CDC, there has never been a diagnosed case of tetanus related to floods or flood cleanup in the United States.

The potential for exposure to tetanus typically occurs through a deep cut or puncture wound. Those who experience a dirty cut or puncture wound should consult their health care provider. If it has been over five years since your last dose, you may need a tetanus booster.

To date, Metro Public Health Department nurses have provided 600 doses of tetanus vaccine over the past two days at Health Department clinics and five Disaster Information Centers.

Health officials expect to receive additional doses of tetanus vaccine as early as today.

The Health Department will offer free tetanus shots at the following Metro Public Health Department Locations:

Lentz Health Center
311 23rd Ave. N.
8 a.m.- 4 p.m. Monday - Friday

East Health Center
1015 East Trinity Lane
8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday - Friday

Woodbine Health Center
224 Oriel Ave.
8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday - Friday

Davidson County residents with questions about tetanus shots should call the health department at 340-5667.